The Wife:

Even five years after Stanford, Chuck still thinks back sadly on his ex-girlfriend Jill, a woman who dumped him when she found out about the cheating scandal and started shacking up with Bryce Larkin. He even devotes time to listening to the break-up mix he made in her honor: “Jill ’03 Mix 😦.”

He awkwardly runs into her when he’s sent on assignment to a BioScience conference to install their computer systems. Upon hearing that Jill now has her PhD. and has clearly made something of herself (and really stuck to the whole five-years-to-Doctorate plan, apparently), Chuck lies to her and tells her that he owns his own computer company with numerous retail stores in order to impress her. He flashes on her boss, Guy LeFleur, who may have had a hand in developing a highly lethal bioweapon that Fulcrum wants to their its hands on.

With this information, the General sends Chuck on assignment to reconnect with Jill to see if she has anything to do with LeFleur and find out what she knows about the bioweapon. The CIA makes good on its promise to comply with the image Chuck constructed for himself. They set him up with a Ferrari and a restaurant filled with CIA agents paid to make Chuck look like the superstar computer mogul he’s pretending to be, including Casey in a fantastically awful scarecrow-like wig as the Maitre D.

Casey, a dead animal would be more convincing on your head than that wig. You know that, right?

Casey, a dead animal would be more convincing on your head than that wig. You know that, right?

Chuck uses his date with Jill to probe her not only for CIA-relevant information, but also to shame her for not having faith in him back at Stanford and leaving him for Bryce. Seeing how uncomfortable Jill is, Sarah and Casey take Chuck aside and remind him to be a spy first, even though it hurts him to see Jill again.

“She used her first amendment right to dump you.” – Casey

Chuck takes a dig at Sarah, barking that he can’t turn his emotions on and off robotically like she can. He apologizes for saying so, but I have a feeling that this comment will come up at a later point in the series. Chuck saves the date by being more suave for the remainder, but Jeff and Lester drive by in the Buy More Bug and blow his cover, causing Jill to take off in a cab and threaten to never speak to Chuck again, just like when she left him in college.

Meanwhile at the Buy More, Emmit nearly lets Big Mike choke to death on a donut and, seeing how poorly the Buy Morians react to emergency situations, decides to implement a mandatory safety course. (This is probably a good idea, considering Lester’s idea of the Heimlich maneuver is to “open his mouth, reach down and grab” whatever food item is lodged in the choking victim’s throat.) Morgan gets Captain Awesome to come teach the course, and he brings with him a CPR dummy that he has intentionally dressed like Ellie. I find it really sweet that Awesome doesn’t want to put his lips on anything that isn’t Ellie. That’s why he’s awesome.

When Jeff and Lester spend most of their time goofing off in class, dressing their CPR dummies as Sarah and Jill and having them fight over Chuck, Emmit insists that there will be a test at the end of the course. If they fail it, they must retake the class on the own time. And not get paid for it.

“Man, if I wanted to take tests, I would have been a boat captain.” – Jeff

Hearing this news, Jeff, Lester and Morgan decide to recreate the crime that got Chuck expelled from Stanford and steal the tests from Captain Awesome.

Chuck convinces Sarah and Casey to let him plant a bug in Jill’s room so he can apologize to her. He does, and admits to being just a lowly Buy More employee. Impressed by his honest apology, Jill lets Chuck in and tells him that she had a good time for most of their date the previous evening and that she’d like to keep seeing him as long as they remain totally honest. He agrees to do so, drops the bug under the bed instead of planting it under her phone as he had initially intended and he and Jill share their first kiss together in five years.

“She kissed me. No spy stuff. No lies. Just me.” – Chuck

When Chuck returns to the van, Casey remotely enables the bug and Chuck flashes on a room service porter he sees on the security camera. The porter is headed up to Guy’s room to assassinate him, not bring him eggs and toast. Sarah and Casey rush off to save Guy, leaving Chuck in the van to monitor surveillance. Chuck overhears Jill’s call to her friend and accidentally blows his cover by speaking into the connection. Jill insists that she doesn’t want anything to do with him at this point and is appalled that he would tap her phone. Sarah and Casey arrive too late to save Guy, however, and his body falls from the hotel window on to the CIA surveillance van.

Casey brings in Jill for questioning as she mourns her dead boss. He tells her that the CIA had been tailing Guy because they thought he might have something to do with a certain lethal bioweapon. As Guy’s colleague, they’ve been tailing Jill, too, just in case she’s involved. Jill confesses that Guy had discovered a deadly, airborne strain of influenza that metabolized so quickly that it could kill an infected person within one hour. Guy and Jill were going to present their research at the BioScience conference in order to thwart their company’s dastardly plans to sell the deadly flu virus to weapons producers who wanted to use the research to kill entire populations of people.

Bad news for Sarah.

Jill: Bad news for Sarah.

Casey wants to send Jill to present at the conference, hoping to smoke out the bio terrorists who want to kill her in order to pervert her research. Chuck refuses to put Jill in harms way, so Sarah offers to do the presentation on her behalf. She poses as an Australian scientist and we get to hear Yvonne Strahovski’s real accent for a few brief seconds before she has to chase the suspect out of the room. Unfortunately, this is too little too late, as he was able to release the deadly flu virus onto the entire population of scientists at the conference, trapping Casey in the sealed room along with them. Casey orders Chuck to get the antidote from Jill in order to save his life and the lives of the dozens of scientists.

Once again, Chuck shows up at Jill’s room to apologize and has to admit to her that he is a CIA agent. He brings along numerous law enforcement officers in order to convince her, which seems to work. She agrees to produce the antidote and is about to walk in to the infected room to do it herself, until Chuck once again feels the need to save her life. (Clearly, he’s still got feelings for this girl, right?) Jill injects Chuck with the virus and sends him in the room. He asks Casey to help him draw blood, but Casey is too sick to comply and accidentally breaks the injection gun. As Jill runs off to find herself a Hazmat suit and another injection gun, Chuck thinks back to bioscience class and wonders if perhaps the antidote could be metabolized in saliva, considering the airborne nature of the virus. This leads to an awkward Chuck-Casey kiss in a last-ditch life-saving effort that ultimately fails when Jill walks in and breaks the news that no, the antidote cannot be metabolized in saliva. Casey, clinging to life by a thread, uses his last bit of strength to growl angrily at Chuck. With minutes to spare, Jill draws Chuck’s blood and processes the antidote, which she and Chuck administer to the entire room, saving the day.

Now, thats how you spread an antidote.

Now, that's how you spread an antidote.

As for the Buy More plot, Morgan and Co. ultimately fail at stealing the tests, as Awesome had anticipated these antics and kept the tests far away from places he thought they’d look, like his messenger bag. Thinking they’re totally screwed come test-taking day, Morgan and Lester hatch a plan to cheat on the Heimlich maneuver section by convincing Jeff to choke on a pen cap so that Awesome will have to come save him, thereby giving them the answer to the final section of the test. Much like Chuck and Jill, they manage to get the answer down on paper with mere minutes to spare.

Meanwhile, Sarah catches up to the suspect, whom she shoots. She discovers his CIA badge and learns that he was a rogue CIA agent who went Fulcrum. The CIA wants to use Jill as a pawn to get closer to Fulcrum and their dastardly plans and not tell Chuck about it, leading to much more Jordana Brewster in the future and, if next week’s previews are to be believed, Chuck’s betrayal of the CIA in order to save Jill’s life.

The Husband:

When the post-title sequence credits rolled, I knew immediately, upon learning that none other than Jay Chandrasekhar was directing the episode, that the following hour would be low on action and high on humor. Chandrasekhar, if you’re unaware, is one-fifth of Broken Lizard, the comedy team that was originated in Colgate University, who have made the movies Puddle Cruiser, Super Troopers, Club Dread and Beer Fest (as well as come together in some form or another for such things as Dukes of Hazzard and Watching the Detectives). He has directed all of the official Broken Lizard movies so far (the next one, The Slammin’ Salmon, is being handed over to co-member Kevin Heffernan) and many sitcom episodes (Arrested Development, Oliver Beene).

And (name drop alert) I once interviewed this very eloquent, very funny man, along with his Broken Lizard crew, for the Club Dread press day so many years ago, and I found him to be a delight. I didn’t even have to consult IMDB for any of the above information. I like him that much.

So in essence I got exactly what I was hoping for in the episode – silly wigs, slapstick humor, broad emotions and man-kisses. What little action there was to be had was handled competently, but I think Chandrasekhar is aware that he is no McG – who helmed the pilot and is a producer on the show – and that while he can get a great crew together to film a pretty sweet car chase (Dukes of Hazzard especially), he wasn’t hired to be McG.

My resume is only 14 items long!

My resume is only 14 items long!

And yes, I do have a fondness for Jordana Brewster, ever since The Faculty. That helps, too.

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